Thursday, July 5, 2012

DID YOU KNOW: Kirby Asunto is a niece of Manny Pacquiao's cousin who hails from Inopacan, Leyte

Kirby Asunto with the sons of Sarangani Rep. and boxing icon Manny Pacquiao.
From the official Twitter account of Kirby Asunto

Before Pacquiao fights, his protegé Kirby Asunto will sing

(This article is a reprint from GMA News online)
GMA News
June 9, 2012 11:00pm

As the Pacquiao-Bradley bout nears, netizens have been abuzz not only about the fight itself but about the featured personalities who will be singing during the event: Jessica Sanchez for the American anthem and Kirby Asunto for the Philippine anthem.

While Sanchez has become a household name after becoming the first runner-up in "American Idol," many Filipinos have been wondering who Asunto is.

A Filipino-American, Asunto was personally selected by Manny Pacquiao to sing the Philippine national anthem during his match against undefeated American boxer Timothy Bradley Jr.

Filipino-American-Mexican Sanchez, 16, will first sing the American national anthem during the opening ceremonies of the Pacquiao-Bradley fight. Asunto, 14, will follow, singing the Philippine national anthem “Lupang Hinirang.”

In an email to GMA News Online, Asunto's publicist Elton Lugay, also a stringer for GMA News in New York, explained that the young singer was a "niece of Manny's cousin, his mother's side."

Lugay said Pacquiao's cousin hails from Inopacan in Leyte, hometown of the congressman's mother Dionisia.

Asunto's grandmother "is also from Inopacan, Leyte," Lugay explained.

On Asunto's Twitter account, her fan Lira wished her luck on her performance during the boxing megafight this Saturday (Sunday morning in the Philippines): “When you sing tomorrow, May the Odds be ever in your Favor @kirbyasunto :) God bless yah.”

Asunto was introduced by the eight-division world champion during a press preview last February when Pacquiao and his wife Jinkee said they had big plans for Asunto who signed a contract under Pacquiao’s talent management company.

“We are committed to help Kirby reach greater heights in her career. We don’t expect much in return. Happy kami that we have the opportunity to help her,” Jinkee said.

Pacquiao first heard Asunto’s voice during the celebration of the Holy Mass before his most recent match against Mexican boxer Juan Manuel Marquez last year which Pacquiao won.

Asunto also performed during Pacman's victory concert after the Pacquiao-Marquez bout.

On May 20 in Manhattan, New York, Asunto performed with Arnel Pineda, the Filipino front man of the legendary American band Journey.

Some of Asunto's other notable achievements include being a:
  • Winner – Child Access Broadway, regional and national levels
  • Grand Champion – Philippine Fiesta Idol, Seacaucus, NJ, junior level
  • Final three – NY Knicks Kidzbop Sports Talent Jam at MSG
According to a report of the entertainment site on June 4, Asunto ("Child Access Broadway") and other Broadway stars such as Anna Maria Perez de Tagle, and "GMA Pinoy TV talents Dingdong Dantes and Aljur Abrenica headlined the Philippine Independence Day Council’s (PIDCI) well attended 114th Philippine Independence Parade and cultural show held on Madison Avenue Sunday afternoon."

The event, attended by around 100,000 people, was the “biggest celebration of Philippine independence outside of the Philippines,” said.

Asunto was born in the Philippines but her family migrated to the US in 2006.
According to her official Facebook page, she has shown great interest in music since the age of two.

Her parents had no clue that their daughter could already compete in a singing contest.

Asunto has since joined several contests and taken voice classes to pursue her dream of becoming a professional singer.

Apart from this, she has been giving back to the Fil-Am community by singing in different fundraisers in the United States.

You can view Kirby’s performances of the American national anthem “Star Spangled Banner” on her official YouTube channel. - VVP/HS, GMA News




Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Inopacan needs a place to conserve historical treasures

Let’s not forget the relics of time. They are like old wines; the more aged it is, the better it becomes.

Thus, we need a place to store old Inopacan treasures for the next generations to behold and be informed of stories and things of the past. A dedicated place is needed for old things to keep its existence, and for every one to see them forever.

An antique or vintage kerosene lamp owned by an Inopacnon. Photo credit to Boy Luego's FB account

Thus, Inopacan needs to have its own museum or sort of conservation. As what I’ve said in one of my previous blogs, I wish Inopacan would have its own municipal museum and public library where all the literary works,  relics, memorabilia of olden times and history about Inopacan and about us Inopacnons would be stored and conserved for perpetuity. 

Or else, rust, termites, and loss of memory and references will vanish these treasures to oblivion.

He who does not look back will never know how far he have gone - but what to look back at when old things are no longer there anymore?

Kayog/kajog, an old tool used in harvesting rice in Inopacan. Photo credit to Boy Luego's FB account

Thursday, June 14, 2012

We have more fun in Inopacan


The sea and the mountain of Inopacan

Yes to tourism in Cuatro Islas, but let's not just focus at the sea-level.

Nobody would argue that the Cuatro Islas is a promising place for tourism to boom this part of the region.

But let’s not just focus our interest at the sea-level. We also have to look up high in the mountains where you can find the Little Baguio of Brgys. Cabulisan and Caminto. By putting up tourism in the sea and in the mountain, everything in between these two points will totally enjoy the benefits of tourism. We will soon be progressing our local transportation networks to and from these two points. Local foods, dining, and accommodations will spread out in the areas where tourist would be plying around.

Of course, other progress will come along, such as development of commercial centers, parks, and other facilities. It would create jobs and business opportunities to Inopacnons.

We have more fun in Inopacan - by the sea, the river, the hills, the mountains, and even the skies if you insist.

Have you seen the mini-rice terraces in Hinabay and Caulisihan and the waterfalls in Conalum and the small ones in Caulisihan and along the road to Caminto from Cabulisan.  Not all Inopacnons had been there.  If you go there, it seems a wonderful find.

A waterfall in Caulisihan - photo credit to Marnel Cubian
Have you tried to scale the back of Bubo-buko sa anay and find out why it so called? Does anybody know the meaning of pandong-bato and why there is a place called pandong bato somewhere in the mountain? Have you seen the kasing-kasing (heart) on your way to Cabulisan and had that wonderful view overlooking the landscape and at the horizon across the sea as you set your feet on top the mountainous terrain? Simply go to these places and find the answers the fun way.  A bat cave is just nearby and see for yourself a swarm  of kuwaknits at dusk after watching that scenic sunset on the horizon of Cuatro Islas. Before the sunset paints the sky with flaming colors, you will have that panoramic view that reaches as far as the mainland of Mindanao and the Camotes group of islands.
A patch of mini-rice terraces along the terrain of Brgy Caulisihan in Inopacan, Leyte
photo credit to Eldeross Kirong
Somehow, I once envisioned of gliding through a glider wings or zip line, or of riding a hot air balloon for me to cross the sky between Cabulisan and Marao or Cabulisan and Caminto, and watch over the fields of rice lands, coconut fields,  vegetable plantations, blooming flowers and the come back of abaca greenfield. Someday the hilltops and ridges of Inopacan's little Bagiuo will be dotted with mansions and rest houses of some balikbayans and expats. It could be the future cool city mountain of many summers to come. Just dreaming. Why not. 
You will love watching or wading through the cascading waters in Caminto river that  is so clear and refreshing that I always dream of shooting the rapids with inflatable rides till I reach the lowlands in Hilongos. That's very far enough for a thrill adventure. It is also an adventure to swim or jump a dive at Pig-ot river. Find this deep narrow river in Brgy. Caminto and have fun swimming in its cold water. Going there is already an adventure because you have to go down through a steep terrain and climb it on your way back.

Habal-habal ride in Inopacan, Leyte
One will get a daily adventure in going up and down the mountains and hills with the ubiquitous habal-habal ride. The name itself is intriguing. The speedy ride is quite an adventure while plying through the uneven terrains and cursive roadways, and in some cases would have to wade through a portion of rivers to cross the other side of  certain places when makeshift bridges are not available.

A sinsoro fishing boat at the fish port in Brgy. Tinago, Inopacan, Leyte
Or just simply enjoy the daily life of binukidnon style. In the morning, have a sip of hot coffee of brewed locally grown coffee beans or have a hot chocolate drink of home made tablea from roasted and finely ground  native cacao beans. A number of delicacies and dishes are abounding, biko, budbud, puto, iraid, nilidgid, bibingka, balikutsa, tiktik pulboron,  galang-galang, kabkab, bukhayo, binignit, kinilaw, butong linamaw, tilaob, mais or saging inanag, pasajan, bulad isda, pinakas, kusahos, tinap-an, sinugba, barbekyu, law-oy, ginamay, inun-onan, inutukan, tinunoan and many many more. Savor a bite of freshly cooked kamote, karnaba, takudo, gabi, ube or istaring, or the sinibakongan, sinaksakan rice or corn meal, or puso with ginamos bolinao, or grilled (or fried) tinabal,  while listening to the cooing of tukmo doves, kulasisi, managing parrots, tamsi, kukok, maya, tikarol and other warbling birds.

One may enjoy back riding the carabaos  on its way to the farm, or while grazing them on grassland. And experience the nightlife of bayle, an evening outdoor disco in the sitios or barrios where lads and ladies would convene, either for a benefit dance or a chance of acquainting with a local beauty.

Otherwise, let's gather around and drink tuba all day. Let the sumsoman and istoryahanay come by in any form. That's a lot of fun, di ba?

There are more inviting reasons for local and foreign tourists to see and experience Inopacan. Their choices vary from sea to the lowland, the hills and up the mountains. Even the skies - if one would insist. We have more fun in Inopacan.

Tourism will surely put a new pin in the map to mark where in the Globe Inopacan is. What used to be a sleepy Caramoan in Bicol has done it successfully, just recently. Why not in Inopacan.

A sinsoro fishing boat at the fish port in Brgy. Tinago, Inopacan, Leyte
The mouth of the legendary bay sa has in  Inopacan, Leyte
photo credit to Eldeross D. Kirong

Inopacan Baywalk
photo credit to Eldeross D. Kirong (photo enhanced by Edgie Polistico)


Read this related article from Business World online:

Tourism industry in Leyte planning cheaper packages 

Posted on June 11, 2012 09:30:25 PM

Tourism industry stakeholders in Leyte plan to come up with low-cost tour packages.

This is contained in the Provincial Tourism Marketing Strategy which was crafted for the cities of Ormoc and Baybay, as well as for the municipalities of Palompon, Isabel and Inopacan in northwest Leyte. Read more...

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

"Hinup-akan" could be the origin of Inopacan

Something to ponder about:

Another posibility of the origin of Inopacan town's name is "HINUP-ACAN" from the root word "hup-ak," referring to the "luno" (slough or skin shed by snakes).

The town proper in 2010 
(Photo by Edgie Polistico)
The place is known not only of being infested with "namok" from which it got its old name "Kanamokan" (the place of mosquitoes), but also of being an old place where snakes are commonly found. A manifestation that snakes are abounding in the area and the presence of hinup-akan in the place have existed are the "Bay sa has" (house of snake) cave and the story of Inong Pak-an fighting the serpentine snake, and the story of Brgy Binitinan (place of "bitin," also a snake. Binitinan is the old name of Guadalupe). Not to mention that there are many areas in and surrounding the town proper where tunneling caves and other subterranean crevices are can be found, which are a favorite places for snakes. The network of underground crevices even reached to Cuatro Islas and the solitaire hill in Brgy. Bontoc of Hindang.

When snake is shedding off its skin, we call it "nagluno" or "nanghup-ak ang panit" and the shedded slough is called "hinup-ak" or "hinup-akan" and the place where the slough are found or where the snake would shed their skin is also called "hinup-akan"


The eventual disapperance of letter H in Hinup-akan could be attributed to the fact that in Spanish, letter H is more often silently pronounced if it is used as the first letter in a word. e.g. hora (o-ra) for time, hielo (ye-lo) for ice, etc. It was during the Spanish colonization era that names of places in the country were officially recorded.

By the way also, what sounds like letter K is more often replaced with the prominent and same sounding letter C in Spanish in that same era. For example, they used to write camo for kamo  (you), aco for ako (I), buac for buak (broken), calayo for kalayo (fire), caldero for kaldero (cooking pot), cura paruco for kura paruko (parish priest), etc.. This explains why the C in Inopacan sounds exactly that of letter K. With this, we can shorten the derivation to look like this:


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Author of Philippine Food, Cooking, and Dining Dictionary - the first and only published Pinoy food and dining dictionary. The book won the national category as Philippine's finalist to the Gourmand Awards international food writing contest in Yantai, Shandong, China to be held in May 2017. A lexicographer who began to compile and wrote his first vernacular dictionaries at the age of 14. A collector of contemporary and vintage dictionaries, both local and foreign.  A linguist studying the many dialects you can find in the Philippines. A blogger maintaining at least 11 blog sites. A researcher of food culture, Pinoy pop culture, interesting places and structures in the country, local transportations, Philippine churches and other places of worship of any religion and beliefs, local anthropology, socio-cultural issues, and whatever interesting about the Philippines and the Filipinos. A visual artist who uses pencil, watercolor, pen, and fingers as medium of expression - once an editorial cartoonist of local broadsheet and campus publications. Created his first hand-made comics magazine and participated the Marian watercolor exhibits in his hometown parish while in high school. A photographer taking at least 2K photos a week in the field while on travel for almost two decades now.  A poet hiding most of the time. A low-profile historian studying continually the origins, history, and progression of many places in the country. A computer programmer who wrote the codes and designed the software application of his digital Cebuano-English dictionary and distributed it for free around the country and over the internet. A traveler who had been to all four corners of the Philippine archipelago, and still setting more footprints anywhere in the country.  A holder of professional driver's license once took the wheels for UBER. A home cook who loves to enhance, modify, elaborate, experiment if not invent more of  Pinoy dishes and delicacies.

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